6 months ago


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14 O c t o b e r 1 2 ' 1 7 H A N N A / C o r o n a t i o n / S t e t t l e r , A b . A g r i c u l t u r e E C A r e v i e w Learning to listen better should be a job requirement for councillors Rob Somerville, County of Stettler candidate Byemoor/Endiang If I have learned anything by running for Stettler County Council during this election period it is this... I came into this election thinking that the number one problem in the County of Stettler was finances. True enough, the councillors are spending money like drunken sailors but finances are not the number one problem...although the finances are in really serious shape. It is not roads, although I have driven on some terrible roads while going door to door campaigning. Some roads are better, some are worse. Some are a disgrace but roads are not the number one problem. Of course, the new shop is an issue but the anger directed towards the shop is, in my view, more of a symptom. The shop is not the number one issue. There are a host of other issues that people have expressed to me while going door to door. Those issues are also not the number one issue, although they are important issues that hopefully will get addressed. The number one issue in the County of Stettler is.... (drum roll please): Council does not know how to listen. This is not just an election issue. It is an all-the-time number one issue. You could argue that they simply do not listen because they are too busy talking and telling us why we are wrong about what ever issue we are trying to communicate to them. “ Council, for sure the presently sitting council, does not know how to listen. Or that they do not want to hear what we have to say because it might not agree with what they want to do. All that could be very true but I see a County council that does not know how to listen. Listening is a skill. Most of us are actually quite bad at it and I would include myself in that group. I would say I do recognize the problem; I am trying to improve. Council, for sure the presently sitting council, does not know how to listen. If listening is a skill, then it can be taught. Council needs to learn how to listen. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Or get rid of the old dogs and elect some new dogs who are trying to listen and willing to learn how to listen better. I would suggest that councils inability (not just an unwillingness but an inability) to listen was and is the underlying cause of the majority of the ratepayer problems with the new County Shop. Council did not know how to listen. As a result Council was unable to understand how to effectively communicate the need for the new shop to the ratepayers. Council really did not understand their ratepayers because they had never listened to them. Typically what we see when interacting with council members is this... we, the ratepayer, might get a chance to express our viewpoint on whatever is the issue of the day, but then the council member will tell us why we are wrong. That is simply not listening. That is not communication because communication is mostly listening. It seems council members love to “ talk. Talk, talk, talk. So much more could be achieved by listening, listening, listening. Sure there is a need to provide information and council needs to provide it but then stop...listen. Listen for longer than just to catch your breath. Listen without only thinking of how you will respond, but instead how you will understand. How can a councillor represent the ratepayers in their Division if the councillor is so preoccupied with telling the County side of an issue (or during the election period, how wonderful they are) that there is no time to listen? I read somewhere that if you are in a conversation with someone and you find you are talking for more than one minute without pausing to let the other person speak then you are not listening. It is something to do with how the human brain works. I need to improve my listening skills too but at least I recognize the problem. Generally humans are not great listeners. I do think councillors need to learn to listen better. It should be a job requirement. The “Talking About County Issues” meeting I held in Byemoor on Oct 5 L. Strom Custom Corral Cleaning and Manure Spreading: - equipped for big or small jobs: low sheds and confined areas. General Contracting: - all types of skid steer service 403 574 2222 was, I think, an example of how a new councillor could listen to the people he or she was representing. Anyway, now it’s your turn to not only talk but be heard. I will be going around door to door from now to election day practicing my listening skills. Ironman Scrap Metal Recovery . . . is picking up scrap again! • farm machinery • vehicles • industrial Serving Central AB 403.318.4346

E C A r e v i e w A G r i c u L t u r e H A N N A / C o r o N A t i o n / S t e t t l e r , A b O c t o b e r 1 2 ' 1 7 15 Service awards highlights Big Valley council meeting Linda Stillinger ECA Review Reporter Big Valley Councillor (and former Mayor) Lois Miller was presented with a five year service pin at the Sept. 28 regular council meeting. During her term in office, Miller has been a strong voice for Big Valley, promoting the community’s interests on both the local and regional levels. Councillor Miller did not run for office during this year’s municipal election. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White and Public Works Foreman Mel Dods both received five year services pins at the meeting. White has been Big Valley’s CAO since September 2012 and has recently taken the CAO position with the Village of Alix, planning to divide her time between the two municipalities. Dods has been Big Valley’s public works foreman since August of 2012. Multi-year capital budget A review of Big Valley’s multi-year capital budget included sidewalks in 2018, paving projects in 2019, possible water and sewer extensions in 2020 and new equipment investments in 2022. Administration will amend this budget and bring it back to the new council at the November meeting. Operating budget A review of the first draft of the 2018 Village Operating Budget revealed no significant changes to MSI Operating Funds for 2018. Administration is recommending a $3 increase to the monthly water flat fee rate, representing a $7,200 increase in annual revenue. Water was budgeted at a $29,530 deficit in 2017 and the proposed changes to the 2018 budget will bring that down. The shortfall of service charges for Big Valley’s water needs come out of tax revenues. The draft budget also includes storm sewer work, flushing and cleaning of lines, curb stop changes and a two per cent increase in the senior requisition. The draft does not show an increase in the tax mill rate. The operating budget will be brought back to the November meeting for review by the new council. Lease extension The Bust Out Rodeo Association was granted an addition to their lease area north of the Village. As a condition, the access road to the village dry dump will be left intact in its entirety, and will be asked to install a proper gate across the road limiting the access to village staff or those authorized by the village for dumping. DICK SMEAL Council voted to award this year’s Big Valley Community Foundation Grant to the Big Valley School in support of their annual camping trip. 2017 FALL PRODUCER MEETINGS & ELECTIONS ZONE 4 (MEETINGS 7 p.m. START, FREE SUPPER 6 p.m.) OCT 24 OCT 26 OCT 29 Each year Big Valley School junior high students participate in an outdoor education camp at the Alford Lake facility, providing students with the CASTOR, LEGION HARDISTY, COMMUNITY HALL 17102AA4 POLLOCKVILLE, COMMUNITY HALL Attend a meeting in your area to meet local delegates, hear what ABP has done this year, and engage with your industry association. ZONE 4 INCLUDES: Paintearth County No. 18, Flagstaff County, Provost No. 52, Wainwright No. 61, Special Area No. 2 (north of the Red Deer River), Special Area No. 3, Special Area No. 4. opportunity to gain knowledge of outdoor survival and animal tracking skills. 403.275.4400 Demo Day! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. 1235 1st AVE WEST, NEWCASTLE, AB (1 Block North of the Newcastle Hall) SHOP EQUIPMENT & TOOLS Force International FRV30-360B Gearhead Lathe w/ 60” Bed, 14” Swing, 3&4 Jaw Chucks, Face Plate, Steady & Follower Rests; Morgon Milling and Drilling Machine w/ End Mills & Milling Head; Princess Auto 30 Ton Shop Press (Elec. Over Hyd.); Force International 7”x12” Metal Band Saw; Miller 250 Mig Welder & Accessories; Mig Aluminum Gun; Oxy/Acet. Set w/ Bottles; 120 lb. Anvil w/Accessories; B & D 14” Chop Saw; 2 Pedestal Grinders; Welding Table; Qty. of Welding & C Clamps; Dewalt 5” Angle Grinder; Powerlift Engine Crane; Sioux Valve Face Grinder w/ Valve Seat Grinding Kit; Scissor Lift Table; Motorcycle Lift; Folding Engine Stand; 2 Floor Jacks; 2 Jack Stands; Roller Stands; Pneumatic Oil Extractor; Marquette Battery Charger; Rolling Toolbox; Qty. of Hand & Power Tools (Elec. & Air); Craftsman 60 litre Shop Vac; Blue- Point ¾” Impact Gun; Eagle Maxair Upright 3 Cyl. Air Compressor; House of Tools 10” Table Saw w/ Assorted Blades; Mitre Saw; Belt Sander; Router; Table Bandsaw; Skill Saw; Plastic Truck Tool Box; Aluminum Ladders; Chain; Ext. Cord; Shelving; Qty. of Iron & Steel; Loading Ramps; etc. YARD & GARDEN Cub Cadet LT 1046 Riding Lawnmower w/ 23hp Kolher, 46” Mower Deck & Rear Bag Attach.; Honda 5.5hp Front Tine Tiller; Ariens 2hp Weed Tiller; Craftsman 1150/24 Snowblower w/ Elec. Start, Lights (as new); Craftsman GCV 160 Lawnmower; Fertilizer Spreader; Lawn & Garden Tools; 150 Gal. Water Tank on Skid; Pioneer 16” Chainsaw; etc. MISCELLANEOUS Sherlock-Manning Spinet Piano w/ Bench; Fishing Rods; Mens & Ladies Golf Clubs; Filing Cabinet; etc. AUCTIONEERS’S NOTES: Dick and Roberta Smeal are selling their house & shop and moving into a retirement home. Contact Dick at 403-823-0647 More pictures and information available on the website at TERMS OF SALE: Terms are cash or valid cheque. All purchases must be settled for and removed sale day. All items sold on an as is basis without warranty or guarantee. The Auction Company is in no way responsible for errors in description or condition. Sale subject to additions or deletions. PREVIEWING FRIDAY, October 20, 2017 10am-4pm GST APPLICABLE LUNCH AVAILABLE Wed., October 18 Noon - 3:30 pm at Battle River Implements Ltd. Interactive Training Ground (5.5 Miles South of Killam on the West side of Highway 36) Please confirm your attendance with Megan 780-385-3993 or